OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to identify and
understand social media usage behaviour of dentists in
South Africa, in general and in particular as part of their marketing
strategy and to consider the potential determinants
associated with these behaviours.
METHODS: Dentists who are members of the South African
Dental Association were requested to anonymously complete
an online questionnaire. Apart from demographic information,
respondents were asked to report on their use
of social media and their adoption of social media marketing.
One-on-one interviews were also conducted with three
dentists, to gain a deeper understanding of their adoption of
this marketing option.
RESULTS: South African dentists have started to embrace social
media and 50.2% interact through these channels at least
once a day. The most popular social media platforms are
GooglePlus and Facebook. Respondents use social media
mainly for personal purposes, including staying connected to
family and friends. Only 13.2% of those responding currently
use social media as a marketing tool, but the majority (83.5%)
predict that such usage will increase in future.
CONCLUSION: Social media marketing is a growing trend and
will become more significant in future. Although respondents
used social media regularly for personal purposes, most are
only now starting to use it as a marketing tool.